Chapter 18: Feeling
Gwen found herself staring about the sanctuary of the church Gary had taken her to days before. It had been nearly a week since she left with the reporter that day at the park, leaving her best friend behind.
The artist wondered what she was up to now. Perhaps the brunette was out looking for her again. Gwen wondered if she should call, but then again she had no phone―not one she remembered anyway.
With a sigh, Gwen tied a bandana about her head and made her way to a janitor’s closet tucked behind the oversized organ. If she was going to paint, the place needed a little cleaning before hand.
The pastor, Harold, had only briefly walked her around that morning to show her where everything was before walking toward the back to his office. He assured her if she had any questions she could always ask.
She had to admit it surprised her―that he would leave a stranger unattended in his church with buckets of paint and full access to the building. What’s more he was paying her! It was a small income, but it was money nonetheless.
Gwen opened the closet and turned on the overhead light. Her eyes scanned the narrow shelves taking inventory of what was available: window cleaner, furniture polish, a stack of old newspapers, brooms, and various other articles cluttered the small room. Yet it was a crate tucked to one side that caught her eye.
It was blue milk crate with a paper folded in half over the edge with “Laurel” handwritten on it in big letters. Curious, Gwen pulled it forward to peer inside.
Neatly stacked inside were packages of brushes in various sizes, towels and an apron. Silently the blonde pulled out the apron and unfolded it. There was something in weighty in one of the pockets. Reaching inside she pulled out a palm-sized Bible with a pink leather cover―“Laurel” embossed on the corner.
She wasn’t sure why, but her hands began to shake. The trembling made it’s way through her body till she fell on her knees to the floor sobbing.
Gary had much to do that morning running from one place to another. He had only stopped long enough to pick Laurel up from the parsonage home and drop her off at the church.
He mused how she still kept her caution around him, but had yet to attack him since the frying pan incident.
For now he found himself pulling into a McDonald’s waiting to place his order in the drive thru. His mind rolled over a previous discussion with Ryan earlier that day.
His colleague had given the reporter some premature results to his search for possible Laurels in the city.
Turns out there were a few indeed. Less than fifty. But there would still be the process of narrowing them down. Age, race and possible deaths would be determining factors to narrow the list for sure, but for some odd reason Gary’s mind kept questioning the name.
Perhaps “Laurel” was an alias? It would be possible knowing the blonde’s distrust for him.
Gary shook his head. No, we’ll stick with Laurel for now, he thought glancing back down at the stack of records in the passenger seat. He wasn’t looking forward to digging through all of that in addition to his previous investigation.
Trying to put the dreaded thought behind him, Gary allowed his mind to replay the day he found her, and those that had since followed. She had a friend with her the day he bumped into her.
But where was she?